Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Nigredo (The Precondition for Circumstance)

When I first discovered fire, I named it Alchemy.
Burned my body more times than I care to remember,
so many times, in fact, I’m now Black by blood.
When I close my eyes I can see outer space.
Poured mercury into my fists and stretched the skin
of my chest to beat a little light out of the moon.
I call the bruises constellations.
Yesterday I learned shadows ain’t always black,
so my teeth and tongue went spiraling down
my throat looking for a reason as to why.
I believe language is a miracle of magic,
the thumbprint of God, cast a spell and word
becomes object, though the closest I’ve ever
got to God was through silence. What’s really
incredible is knowing how much a color costs,
only to remember the means by which we died.
They mined minerals from our innards to wear
as jewelry. Bought formal tuxedos to wear at fancy
parties. A toast to the pain. Clink of crystal.
Bubbling smiles all around. To hell with all this.
I believe what I believe because it is absurd,
yet death seems the only proof, with all of us
sure to be buried in a yawning grave. How else
could the Earth have grown gold, if not from us?  

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